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Square Knot Frame

 Square Knot Frame

Description: This Square Knot frame can be used to decorate photos and artwork. You can also use this technique to make a pendant for a necklace design.

The photo or item you are framing is attached to the back of the frame with glue or tape. So the photo needs to be slightly larger than the opening in the center of the frame.

This Macrame project is suitable for children and beginners who have learned to tie the Square knot.   You also need to know how to tie an Overhand knot.

Make sure you understand the difference between working cords and fillers, before you get started.

In the example shown, 4mm nylon Paracord was used to make the frame.


Supplies Needed:
  • Cord Materials (see Preparation)
  • Project Board and pins
  • Glue that dries clear
  • Photo or Artwork





Since the Square Knot Frame can be any size,  begin by measuring each side of the photo or piece of art.  Make sure you write down the length and width measurements, since you will be using them as you construct the frame.

Frame Size:  Add the measurement from all 4 sides of the photo.

  • Frame size under 12 inches -- use 2mm size material
  • Frame size 12 - 20 inches - use 3mm or 4mm material
  • Frame size over 20 inches -- use 6mm material

Cord Length:  Multiply the frame size by seven (7).   Cut 4 cords to this size. 

Total Amount to Purchase:   Cord length x 4


Important:  Prepare the ends of all four cords with tape or glue. 

When using Paracord, melt the ends with a flame, then apply the tape.


Bottom of Frame

Four Cords  

Step 1:  Arrange the cords on your project board vertically.  Secure the centers so they are lined up as shown.  Mentally number the cords. 

The working cords are 1 and 4. 

The fillers are  2 - 3.


First SK at Center  

Step 2: Tie the first Square Knot so it rests at the center of the cords, close to the pins.


First Sennit at Bottom  

Step 3: Tie more Square Knots until the sennit measures the same as the bottom edge of the photo or artwork you are framing.


Step 3, continued:  Move the sennit on your board so it's horizontal

The center of it should be on your right (see next photo).


The Sides

Bring Cords Down  

Step 4:  Move working cord 1 and filler cord 3, so they are vertical.

Cords 1 and 3 will be the fillers for the right side of the frame. 

Cords 2 and 4 will be the new working cords.


Design Tip:  The two sides are reversed in the images right now, so they make more sense later on.  

First Corner  

Step 5:  Use working cords 2 and 4 to tie the first Square knot, which forms the corner.

Pull firmly on the fillers, so the corner angle is as sharp as possible.


Right Side  

Step 6:  Tie more Square knots so that the sennit measures the same as the right side of the photo.


Step 7: Find the center of the cords, where you started the Square Knot Frame (upper right).

Mentally number the cords from top to bottom.

Second Corner   Bring down cords 1 and 3, which will be the fillers for the left side.

The other two are the working cords (2 and 4).

Left Side = Right Side  

Step 8:  Repeat steps 5 and 6, creating the left side of the the frame.

Make sure you tie the same number of knots, and measure the sennits, so both sides are the same.



Top of Frame

Step 9:  Turn the Square Knot Frame so the bottom is on your right.

The right side should be at the top.

Third Corner  

Mentally re-number the ends coming from the side (top to bottom).

Bring down cords 1 and 3 to be the fillers for the first half of the top edge. Cords 2 and 4 will be the working cords.

Tie 1/2 Number of Knots  

Step 10: Tie only 1/2 the number of knots you need to create the top of the Square Knot Frame.

So if the bottom has 6 knots, tie 3 for this portion of the frame.


Step 11: Turn the frame so the short sennit you just tied is at the lower right, heading upward (see image below).

The bottom of the frame should be on your left.

Bring down cords 1 and 3 to be the fillers for final sennit. Cords 2 and 4 will be the working cords.

Fourth Corner  

Step 12:  Tie one Square Knot to form the corner.

Locate the fillers coming from the short sennit you made for the top edge (step 10).

Cross both sets of fillers in the area between the two sennits.


Tie SK Around 4 Fillers  

Step 13: Tie the remaining Square Knots with the working cords, around both sets of fillers (4 cords).

The total number of SK in this area should be the same as first half of the top edge (step 10).


Top of Frame  

Make sure the knots are tied so the fillers stay in the back of the frame, even if you have to reposition them.

You should see only the KNOTS when you are looking at the front of the frame.

Pull on the fillers to bring the two halves close together.


Tie Working Cords Together  

Step 14:  To finish off the cords for the Square knot Frame, tie the working cords together with an Overhand knot (in the back). 

Apply glue as you tighten, so it's on the inside of the knot. 


The filler cords can be worked through the back of the knots to hold them in place.

Apply glue as needed, to hold the cords in place.

Step 15:  To make a loop to hang the frame, use the two working cords coming off the top edge, after you've tied them together and the glue is dry.

Tie the two ends together with an Overhand knot, leaving a space for hanging the frame.
Completed Frame  

Attach the photo or artwork to the back of the frame with glue or very sticky tape.


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Have any comments about the Square Knot Frame? Contact Me.

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